As with all Telltale games, The Wolf Among Us allows you to make choices and influence the game’s plot with your words and actions of main character Bigby (the Big Bad) Wolf. With a new season officially on the way sometime in 2018, many players will want to check out or revisit season one from 2013, and if you have a hard time understanding the game’s slightly cryptic ending, we have you covered.
Please note the text below contains story spoilers for the first season of The Wolf Among Us.
The beginning of episode five has you confronting the Crooked Man, a Fable crime lord who ordered the death of Faith (a prostitute who first appeared in episode one), as well as Lily (another prostitute, Troll, and sister to Holly). After the reveal that the pimp Georgie Porgie was the one who killed Faith and Lily as enforced by the Crooked Man, you attempt to chase after them but no matter how you fight or which car you choose to pursue, both the Crooked Man and Georgie will get away.
Heading to the club to find Georgie, if you had jumped on the Crooked Man’s car you come upon him with the decapitated corpse of Vivian, the hostess at the Pudding N’ Pie. If you had chosen Georgie’s car to pursue you would have seen her alive and been able to talk to her for a few moments before she pulled off the ribbon on her neck to detach her head and take her own life anyways. Vivian took her own life to lift the curse that made it so all the rest of the prostitutes at the Pudding n’ Pie were unable to talk about the goings on at the club since Vivian was the original “Girl with the Ribbon.”
Georgie then reveals the location of the Crooked Man and you can choose to kill him yourself or leave him to die slowly. Both choices result in his death nonetheless.
This leads you to the Crooked Man’s hideout at the Foundry. Here you fight another of his lackeys, Bloody Mary, who puts up a respectable fight. After killing her to corner the Crooked Man and you can choose whether to bring him back to Snow to face justice, or kill him then and there yourself. This choice affects how hard it is to convince the other Fables that you and Snow are fit to run the Fabletown government.
Killing the Crooked Man at the Foundry
If you kill him you bring his body back to the others, Snow is angry you didn’t being him back alive to face a proper trial for justice at the Witching Well chamber. Bluebeard and Lawrence (if he’s still alive) support Bigby’s decision of killing him, and Grendel and Holly seem indifferent. However, the crowd then begins to turn on Snow and Bigby by questioning their judgement to run Fabletown and you have to choose between staying and listening to what they have to say or leaving abruptly. If you stay then Nerissa (who can now talk freely thanks to Vivian’s death) states the Crooked Man was indeed behind the orders to kill Faith and Lily, clearing Bigby’s name and allowing Snow and him to run the local government. If you choose to leave, Bigby will angrily toss the body down the well and denounce their criticisms of him while stomping off.
Bringing the Crooked Man to Trial
When you bring the Crooked Man to his trail at the Witching Well alive then the crime lord will do everything to try and pit the crowd against Bigby in order to save himself. Ultimately this conversation doesn’t matter as Nerissa will still arrive and states the Crooked Man was indeed behind the orders to kill Faith and Lily. Bigby is appointed as the judge, and you have three choices to decided what to do with the Crooked Man.
- Lock him in jail: as you turn to say you wish to lock the Crooked Man up, he will throw his cuffs around Bigby’s neck and start dragging him to the Witching Well. You will be asked the three choices again as Bigby holds him over the well, and if you decide jail is still the best option then the witch Aunty Greenleaf will turn him into a crow and lock him in a small wire cage.
- Throw him down the well: if you choose to throw the Crooked Man in the well, he will once again pull Bigby towards the well himself and you will be offered the three choices again. Choosing throw down the well a second time will result in the crowd being quiet but seemingly supportive of this decision.
- Rip his head off: once again as Bigby tries to speak the Crooked Man pulls him towards the well and you are offered the three choices again. If you still choose to rip his head off, Bigby will prop him up against the well and horrifically tear his head from his shoulders. The crowd is frightened and disgusted by this choice, and then the same shot of the crowd accepting this decision is shown as if you had just decided to throw him down the well. The only difference is a indicator will read that Fabletown is now “afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.”
The scene will end and now Bigby will go to the Business office to see Snow where a long line of Fables are waiting. She will be too busy to talk and instead gives you Flycatcher’s keys so you can go see off the Fables who are heading to the Farm since they cannot afford the disguising substance of Glamor anymore. You’ll see Toad and TJ, and TJ asks you to bring a present to Snow but saying yes or no will have no noticeable consequences. The whereabouts of the Pig Colin are questioned by Toad, and despite seeing him near the Business Office moments earlier you can say you don’t know or that he gets to say, which will make Toad suspicious of you.
The final moments of the episode are the most cryptic, and are the hardest to understand. Nerissa will call to you from across the street and you’ll have a short conversation and she states she has to tell you something. She’ll explain that Faith, Lily, and her had a plan to leave the Pudding N’ Pie but then Faith stole a picture of Crane and Lily together for “leverage” against the Crooked Man. Nerissa explains she told Gerogie about the picture hoping he would help them, but instead he killed Faith in front of her and Lily instead.
Therefore, when Nerissa stated at the Witching Well she knew for certain the Crooked Man was behind the orders for the murders, she was assuming as such and didn’t have actual proof. Nerissa was also the one who left Faith’s head at the doorstep for Bigby to find so he could investigate the murder and catch the Crooked Man and Georgie since Nerissa couldn’t talk about it herself due to the curse on the ribbons that Vivian lifted.
At the end of the conversation, Nerissa says “You’re not as bad as everyone says you are.” before turning to walk off. This was the same thing Faith has said to Bigby at the beginning of the game, which triggers a series of verbal memories within Bigby that seem to suggest he is questioning Nerissa’s true identity. Two options of going after her or letting her go are presented, with both just lead to the end of the game credits.
This last moment with Nerissa has given rise to a couple possible theories to who she actually is.
Nerissa is dead and Faith is pretending to be her
The first is that the Nerissa we have come to know is actually Faith who is glamored to look like Nerissa, meaning it was actually Nerissa who was killed and Faith was the one who tried to get Bigby to start investigating. Therefore, the dead body of Faith found on the doorstep would have been the body of Nerissa glamored to just look like her, much like Lily’s body was glamoured to look like Snow White at the time of her death in an earlier episode.
Nerissa pretended to be Faith in episode one while Faith was already dead
Another theory is that Nerissa is still herself, but was glamored to look like Faith at the beginning of the game to lead Bigby to start to investigate her friend’s death. Therefore, Faith was already dead at the beginning of the game and the version of Faith we saw was Nerissa trying to find help while still being unable to speak about the murder. This theory would make a bit more sense as Nerissa seems to willingly give away her time spent pretending to be Faith at the beginning of the game when she says the exact same phrase to Bigby at the end of episode five as she did in episode one.
We’ll have to wait until season two to know for sure.